by Kathleen Duff
At the Monday evening meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Robert Christmann announced that Jerry Parisi, assistant principal of Grand Island High School, would become the new principal of Veronica E. Connor Middle School effective Jan. 1, 2012. Parisi will take over for middle school administrator Bruce Benson, who is retiring after 15-1/2 years of service to the district.
The principal search process involved 100 candidates. Regarding the choice of Parisi, Christmann commented that "Our district will be well served." Regarding his students, Parisi said, "I hope I can serve them as well as all my kids here (at the high school)."
Regarding the vacancy created by the retirement on Dec. 7 of Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Karen Karmazin, Christmann recommended to the board that the title be changed to director and that building principals begin reporting to the superintendent.
In other news, Christmann and board members indicated that their community information sessions on the proposed capital project were going well and that the last one would be held this week. In addition, Christmann said that he and board members would be meeting this week with members of the Grand Island Town Board to look over and discuss a possible site for the proposed new transportation center. Trustees have set aside $800,000 from the district's capital reserve fund so that a new bus garage could be planned for a more workable site than the current one behind Charlotte Sidway School on Baseline Road.
As part of the meeting agenda, the board approved recommendations for the appointment of election inspectors for the Dec. 20 capital project vote. They also approved contracts for Cannon Design and Campus Construction Management in anticipation of the proposed capital project.
Trustees also approved two other motions. One was for the auction sale of obsolete buildings and grounds and transportation equipment. The sale netted more than $48,000 for the district. The money goes into the general fund. The other motion was in support of the 485-b real property tax exemption for local businesses on Grand Island. Through June 30, 2012, the town allows businesses a prorated $25,000 tax exemption on improvements
In other news, district Athletic Director Jon Roth accepted an American flag from the 914th Airlift Wing. The flag had been flown over Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, the board observed a moment of silence for Sidway School teacher Renee Luzi, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer.